IUIU wants zero balance for lost semester, students vow to protest

IUIU was formed out of an agreement between the government of Uganda and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (PHOTO/File)

MBALE — Students of the Islamic University in Uganda-IUIU have petitioned their administrations over the University’s zero balance policy and the demand for payment of functional fees.

The petition led by two Law students explains that it is unfair for the University to insist on enforcing the zero balance policy, for a semester that they did not spend at campus following the closure of educational institutions in March, last year as one of the measures to forestall the spread of coronavirus disease.

At the time, the learners were in their second semester of the year. According to the university, the learners were expected to pay a sum of 990,000 Shillings as tuition fees, 375,000 Shillings as payment for Hostel/accommodation and 40,000 Shillings as medical fees.

But Abdulswamad Ssebayigga, one of the petitioners told URN that when they returned for the examinations in January, the University asked the students to pay up to 100 per cent of the University dues. He adds that the implementation of the policy was based on the understanding that there was 100 per cent utilization of services.

According to Ssebayigga, this was not the case last year when the university doors closed and all of them were sent home. To their dismay, he says, many of their colleagues have been blocked from sitting for their exams for failing to clear the payments to zero.

“…The Petitioners wish to inform you that it was unjust and unfair that the University administration went on to further implement the zero balance policy despite the economic downgrades that were caused by the pandemic,” the letter reads in part.

They now demand that the University Administration finds a remedy for students who did not sit for exams after failing to clear the payments to zero and allow them to progress with further studies, and refund payments made in form of functional fees, that were never utilised. The students have given the university up to seven days to respond to the concern.

Rehema Kantono, the IUIU Public Relations Officer told URN that the University Management will sit next week to decide on the matter.

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